New hockey fans will hear words during games or after either by commentators, fans, or players that’ll leave them scratching their heads. Even those who have been fans for a while aren’t quite used to the lingo that populates hockey culture. Whether it’s words like bar down or pylon, it can be hard to derive a definition for them even with context. That’s why we’re here to help. Here’s our guide to hockey lingo:

Apple: an assist.

Bar Down: when a puck hits the crossbar and falls into the net, resulting in a goal.

Barn Burner: a very high scoring game.

Biscuit: a puck.

Breaking ankles: when a player stick handles and dekes so well that their opponent stumbles or falls.

Bucket: a helmet.

Celly: a goal celebration.

Chirping: insulting or trash talking opponents.

Dangle: when a player dekes (see below) while also skillfully maneuvering the puck.

Deke: when a player fakes movement to fool an opponent.

Five-hole: the space between a goaltender’s legs.

Flow: long, “flowing” hair.

Going golfing: referring to a team missing the playoffs or their early departure.

Goon: an enforcer; a rough and prone to fighting player.

Gongshow: a chaotic and out of control game.

Gordie Howe hat trick: when a player scores a goal, has an assist and a fight all in one game.

Grinder: a player who’s role is to annoy and rough up opposing players rather than score.

Lighting the lamp: scoring a goal. When this happens in most arenas, the light above the net turns on.

Plug: an unskilled player.

Pylon: an unskilled and slow defensemen that gets skated around like the pylons used at most practices.

Saucer: an airborne pass, resembling a flying saucer.

The Show: the NHL (or any other professional league).

Sin Bin: the penalty box.

Slapshot: a powerful and hard shot.

Slew Foot: when a player intentionally sweeps out another’s feet causing them to fall.

Sniper: a highly skilled player.

Spin-o-rama: when a player spins in a circle with complete control of the puck to avoid an opposing player.

Stand on his head: a goalie who played really well when the rest of their team did not and is the main reason why their team won.

Tic-tac-toe: a series of quick consecutive passes that result in a goal.

Top Shelf: top of the net.

Winger: a forward who plays on the outer side of the rink.

Wraparound: when the puck is taken around the back of a net in an attempt to trick the goalie and score.


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